Pay Less Because of Small Garden Landscaping?

Yes, you can indeed reduce your maintenance and utility costs with small garden landscaping.  I’m not talking about saving money on a landscaping project, I’m talking about saving money with a landscape project.  The reasons are simple:

  1. A house shielded from the elements with the right plantings costs less to heat and cool.
  2. Soil correctly protected from the sun loses less moisture to the air.
  3. Shielding soil from weeds makes your yard easier and much less expensive to maintain.
  4. Grading your property the right way protects soil nutrients and halts runoff.
  5. The right plants in the right places stop erosion in its tracks.

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What Is The Best Way To Save Money With Small Garden Landscaping?

It’s easy if you follow permaculture principles.  You can do things in your landscape in a new way that brings different results from those your neighbors are getting.  Down the block, everyone is very likely using a landscape maintenance company for their yards.  They are paying them weekly or monthly, and the workers do the same basic things again and again.  They typically use traditional methods for yard care, such as mowing, blowing leaves, and sometimes pruning shrubbery and trees.

This is actually detrimental to a property’s value for three reasons:

  1. Customers (homeowners like you) pay for maintenance.
  2. Landscape health is diminished by this type of maintenance.
  3. Property value is not maximized.

Here is how you can turn this around and go from lost opportunity costs to maximum savings and value:

Option 1 – Fire your gardener.  Seriously, unless they stop mowing, blowing, and hacking every time they visit, your property can never reach its peak.

Option 2 – Teach your gardener how to use permaculture.  Maintenance companies largely look to you to tell them what you want them to do in your yard every time they come.  They usually do not assess the property and devise their own strategy for taking care of it.  Their tools define the work they do.  Customers typically have one conversation at the time of hire and go over basics like, “I want that hedge pruned,” or “keep the pool area clear of leaves.”  Instead, I recommend providing the following three basic instructions, below:

  1. Use rakes instead of blowers and pull leaves onto rather than off of planting beds.  This feeds rather than depletes the soil, protects roots, and suppresses weed growth.  Leaves naturally decompose over time, and using a rake allows for beautifully shaped leaf mulch areas around plants and clear walkways and patios.  Rakes also protect your lungs from toxin-carrying dust and your ears from noise.
  2. Replace your high-maintenance traditional lawn with an ecological lawn mix appropriate for your zone.  Eco-lawns don’t need mowing or even watering, because they are made up of grass species with deep tap roots and short mature heights.  If you want to learn more about these powerhouses of water, pollution, and cost savings, you can read more about them here.
  3. Leave pruning to experts.  Trees should never be topped.  Maintenance companies in LA County are using chainsaws to illegally hack off the tops and main branches off of city trees.  The result is parking lots and other areas with uniform shrub-like or drastically denuded stumpy trees.  The head arborist for the county of Los Angeles is actively seeking information about anyone doing this.  He has told me they are not looking to cite those who hire these maintenance outfits.  A qualified arborist should be used for tree pruning, and a company that understands and has training in pruning of shrubs should be hired.
  4. We offer landscape maintenance training and gardening services if teaching your existing gardener is not feasible.

Option 3 – Have a permaculture designer plan your property.  This will make maintenance unnecessary and ensure the right things are placed and installed in the right ways – ways that achieve lower water and power costs while increasing your property value.  Have questions about working with us?  Book a free discovery call here.

Using one of these three options for following permaculture principles will help you save costs and gain value in your property, a small investment worth a lot.